What am I trying to win?

Today I read the following on Beth Moore’s Facebook page:

bmoore-quote

This hit me for a number of reasons:

I am a news junkie, probably because my first career choice was to be a journalist. And…because I’m nosy. Mostly because I’m nosy; but perhaps that’s why I wanted to be a journalist, so I could get paid to be nosy!

Anyway, I still have that natural impulse, and pay close attention to news media. It is also my natural impulse to share what I’m learning, not just because I am a journalist at heart, but because I am also a teacher at heart. The process of learning is not fully realized for me until I’m able to share what I’ve learned with others. When these two impulses are married with the speed of social media, I find myself inserting my foot in mouth, or “oversharing”, which is my term for sharing the information with my unsolicited opinion blended into the mix. It’s easy to do, and hard to control when you are tweeting or sharing at the speed of light. I find this especially hard to maintain and control on Twitter.

I have moments when I do realize what I’m doing and scale back – and then some new outrage occurs and I’m back to my old habits. “Old habits die hard” is a cliché because it is so annoyingly true!

So these are my current thoughts about this:

I can’t say I will never post another political post again. That is a set-up for failure for sure. But I do want to heed Beth’s warning here and consider the speed and volume of my posts. And by volume I mean, the outrage meter, if you will. There are some pretty yucky things going on right now, but the level of drama and the sheer volume of cyber-ink that is spilled over some of this stuff is a distraction from what’s truly important. If we are outraged by everything, is there a point at which nothing is truly outrageous anymore? Would that make it difficult to spot the real stuff, the truly outrageous stuff that is worthy of our attention and action, if we’re occupied with the busy work of the trivial?

It’s time to scale it all back, slow down and actually take something in long enough to fully understand it so I can discern what the real stuff is…

And, church, the real stuff is that we love our neighbor regardless of what the government does. We look to the government to do the things we ought to be doing. We apply worldly philosophies to the task of caring for the poor and least of these. We take on the identity of our political preferences over against the identity of Christ; and then we baptize our views in Christian language to make them sound “Christian”.

This is not an exclusively liberal or conservative tendency; both side are equally guilty of doing it. Please hear me: I don’t want to get all self-righteous here, because I have no room to be so. I am talking to myself just as much as anyone. I am part of the problem! I value my comfort more than the life and well-being of others who may need my help. From a distance, it is easy to dehumanize the other, to blame the other for their lot in life, without truly knowing how or why they got there. And even if they are to blame for their circumstance, mercy will see them not as a lost cause, but a grand possibility.

Mercy is what has kept me; mercy is why I am still here. Mercy is the reason any of us have what we have. And mercy, by its very definition is something that is not deserved. I am called to be merciful, even as my Heavenly Father is merciful…how am I doing in this area? I shudder to think of the answer to that question…

But I’m digressing again…I always digress…ugh! Back to what I was saying…

Scaling back for me is taking a break. Taking a sabbatical of sorts from all this news media chaos that happens on social media. I do not wish to “win the internet”. I want to follow Christ. Period. How I best do that will not be discovered in my FB or Twitter newsfeeds, but in the Word of God. And my ability to act in a Christlike way will not be determined by how fast I can post something, or how well I can articulate my opinion that no one really asked for. It will happen slowly, quietly, as I meditate on God’s Word and seek to obey it in every area of my life.

To be quite frank with you, I am just worn out at this point. It’s only been a month people – we have three years and 11 months more to go! I can only speak for myself, but I think now is a good time for me to be slow to speak and quick to listen. So, this will be my last post about politics, at least for a while. I need to get back to the source of our wholeness, namely Jesus Christ. I must reorient my heart, my life, and my focus on Him. All the other stuff will be clearer when I do that…

More later…grace and peace…

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